Joy's Assignment

Monday, August 08, 2011 Posted by Sara

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Curiously, as I turned the page in the date book to see what Joy was up to today, I saw she had scheduled me for coffee around 4 p.m. This was all beginning to feel like a set up. As the hour approached, I filtered through the multitudes of questions I wanted to ask her.
The bells above the door jingled as I nervously entered the shop and scanned the tables.  There she was, reading the paper at a round table by the window.  Still beautiful, but rather unassuming.  Joy was quiet, and apparently focused on whatever article she was reading.
I ordered and approached her with my vanilla iced chai in hand.
She smiled cordially and invited me to join her.  I played with my straw unsure what to say. 
“I’m glad for your company, you know?” She finally broke the ice.
I tried to apologize for stalking her and thanked her profusely for meeting with me.  She laughed.
“I expected,” I paused, looking down to gather my words, “you to be, well, more joyful.”
She nodded understandingly, “I seem demure to you. I know.  Most expect me to be full of endless giggles or jumping up and down.”
It’s true, that’s exactly what I expected.  The Old Testament recounts the joy of God’s people – shouting, singing, dancing in joy before the Lord. But she was so – laid back. She wasn't even bubbly, really.
She explained, “I have that effect, you know – the laughter, the dancing, the songs.  But that’s not who I am.  I am not a giggle.” She grinned. “I’m both a promise remembered and a promise fulfilled.” She continued, “I work in tandem with Hope quite a bit.  But Hope has a different assignment; Hope begins in your heart and journeys to the throne room.  I begin in the throne room, and end in your heart. Sometimes I spill out into the giggling you speak of, but sometimes I spill out in tears, and sometimes I just quietly abide in hearts.”
My mind was spinning. 
“My purpose is to fill you up, as it was in the beginning.  That is what the Son has requested – that your joy would be complete. That your heart would be filled with recollection of the promises of the Father, and that as you remember what He has promised and abide in His love, you would overcome.”
And the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, I thought to myself.
She nodded knowingly.

“I have told you this [to abide in love*] so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” John 15:11

*my addition describing what the “this” was Jesus was talking about from the previous verse. 

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